AFTER THE HARVEST
As the Olive harvest comes to a close in Italy, the nets are rolled up and crates stacked away and everyone who has worked so hard to collect the fruit of this year can now finally enjoy their bruschetta. Harvest is incredibly manual and gruelling and as the weather is finally turning chilly here it’s time to batten down the hatches and leave the trees to rest.
In order to initiate flowers and fruit, olive trees need a two month period of cold weather (below 10°C), prolonged cold below 7.5°C can inhibit fruit production, so this is why Mediterranean climates work best. This is also why you might choose to bring an olive tree inside or insulate it over the winter if you live in a cooler climate.
Following the cold spell, typically the tree is pruned (tends to be February in Italy) – it is time consuming and can therefore be costly but it’s an essential part of keeping the tree productive and healthy. As any keen gardener will know, pruning is an art – and there are two main aims here: to maintain the health of the tree and to facilitate tree maintenance for the year ahead (if the tree is allowed to expand massively it becomes a much greater job to manage). I’ve noticed that the best pruners tend to cut back quite hard as vigour can be impressive in the springtime. Over pruning does however prevent fruiting so it’s a fine balance to judge this perfectly.
For now though, it’s time to begin enjoying the results of the 2017 harvest. Your oils will be shipped to you in the coming weeks and we can’t wait to hear what you think about them.